Pioneering imaging techniques to study scarring tissue in the heart

CVS researchers have received a grant of £671,000 from the British Heart Foundation (BHF) for a clinical study using state-of-the art scanning and imaging to identify scarring in patients in the early stages as it is developing.

Scarring of the heart tissue and muscle occurs in many different conditions. When scar tissue builds up, it prevents the heart from beating efficiently, and is a major cause of heart failure – a debilitating condition for which there is no cure.

Current scanning technology has only been able to detect scarring in patients once it has already formed, reducing treatment options.

The new study hopes to identify scarring in its early stages of development. This could mean patients being treated more effectively and potentially before the effects of scarring are irreversible. This  study may also enable to detect scarring in other areas of the heart that might previously been missed out.

Professor Marc Dweck, Chair of Clinical Cardiology at the University of Edinburgh and a consultant cardiologist is the lead of this exciting new project.

The ability to image scarring in real time, as it is developing in the heart muscle, would be a major scientific advance, which could improve our knowledge about a wide range of heart muscle disorders and speed up the development of new treatments. This could really change how we diagnose and treat patients

Professor Marc Dweck, Chair of Clinical Cardiology and a consultant cardiologist


The study will take place over the next three years and is expected to involve around 200 patients.

72-year-old Gordon Sharpe, from Edinburgh, is taking part in Professor Dweck’s project.

When I was offered the opportunity to participate in the study, I jumped at the chance. I wanted to learn as much as I could about the damage and scarring of my heart muscle. I strongly believe that this line of research is essential if we are to learn how to develop best-timed treatment and therapies which could greatly improve the quality and scope of life for those who have heart attacks in the future

72-year-old Gordon Sharpe, patient


Professor Marc Dweck

Coronary and Valvular Heart Disease research at CVS